IN THIS BLOG POST:
- 5 considerations for landlords deciding if they should allow pets.
- Pros and Cons for making a decision to allow pets.
- When is a pet not a pet?
When it comes time to rent out an investment property, every real estate investor needs to ask themselves this question: “Should I allow pets in my property?” Here are five important considerations to help you decide:
ONE: Statistics show that about 60% of tenants come with pets. If you decide not to allow pets at your property, it’s important to understand that you are significantly limiting your pool of potential tenants. This is especially true in the Denver rental market, including Brighton rental homes.
TWO: If you decide yes, what kind of pets will you allow? Small to medium-sized dogs don’t typically do damage to a property; however, cats can be much more destructive. Whatever you decide, be sure to weigh the pros and cons.
THREE: What kind of pet restrictions will you have? Many insurance companies have breed restrictions. As an investor, you’ll want to brush up on what is allowed in your property. Also, consider size restrictions. Large dogs can do more damage than small to medium sized dogs. Lastly, establish a restriction on the number of animals you will allow in your property.
FOUR: Should you have a pet addendum? The answer is yes. The pet addendum should clearly outline the responsibilities of the tenant when it comes to their pet.
FIVE: Should you charge a pet deposit? Yes, but don’t call it a pet deposit as this limits your ability to keep the deposit for potential damages not caused by the pet when the lease comes to an end and your tenant moves out. The amount you can charge will depend on the property and the pet, but you should be able to generate a higher security deposit with the addition of a pet. For more information, check out our video specifically addressing pet deposits!
There are certainly benefits to allowing pets at your property. You will probably rent your property faster and easier, and tenants with pets typically stay longer than tenants without pets since it’s more difficult to find housing with a pet. Maybe the best benefit of all being that you will generally be able to charge a higher rent rate by allowing pets in your property. Just be mindful of the consequences that allowing pets can have, including potential damage to your property.
QUESTION: When is a pet not a pet?
ANSWER: When it is a service animal. Be cautious in how you deal with requests for service animals. Federal law governs this process and a professional property manager or lawyer should be consulted before you say 'no'. It is illegal to charge additional security deposit for a service animal. For more information about service animals, here are six things you need to know.
As always, the Grace Property Management team is here to serve as a resource. If you have additional questions about how to handle pets in your rental property, or any other questions about operating an income property, give us a call at 303-255-1990.